A painful but satisfying win

From the Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Reed kicked a 46-yard field goal in overtime and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a 10-point deficit, numerous injuries and a late Baltimore comeback to outlast the Ravens, 23-20, Monday night.

Reed’s third field goal ended a game in which the Steelers (3-1) were down by 10 late in the third quarter, rallied but couldn’t hold a seven-point lead, then found a way to win despite being without their top three running backs.

Pittsburgh rallied despite losing two players to season-ending injuries, running back and first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall (fractured shoulder) and right guard Kendall Simmons (Achilles’). Both will be put on injured reserve, Coach Mike Tomlin said.

The Ravens (2-1), who lost for the seventh time in their last eight games in Pittsburgh and fell out of the AFC North lead, won the important overtime coin toss but were backed up by two penalties and a sack, and Sam Koch had to punt out of the end zone.


Then, on third and eight, Ben Roethlisberger found fourth-string running back Mewelde Moore -- playing only because of the injuries -- on a 24-yard swing pass for a first down at the Ravens 31. On third and 14, Moore made a seven-yard catch to the 28 to get Reed close enough to feel comfortable about his chances of making the kick.

“That was important -- a 46-yarder there isn’t a given, and a 53-yarder isn’t easy,” Reed said. “I get too much credit. . . . That’s what I’m supposed to do in that situation.”

Said Moore: “Coach Tomlin told me when I came here I’d be his minute man, that I had to be ready on a minute’s notice. Everything he said held true.”

The Steelers turned the 10-point deficit into a 17-13 lead in a 15-second span in the third quarter, only to have rookie quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens connect with Derrick Mason for 35 yards ahead of Le’Ron McClain’s two-yard touchdown run that tied it at 20 with 4:02 left.


Before then, Pittsburgh appeared to have overcome three mostly dreadful quarters in a momentum-turning span of three plays, and Reed added a 19-yard field goal to make it 20-13.

The Steelers, booed by their fans while held without a touchdown for eight quarters since the second period of a 10-6 win in Cleveland on Sept. 14, finally awoke late in the third, going to a no-huddle offense with Roethlisberger in shotgun formation. The no-huddle was almost a necessity, with Mendenhall out and Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker (knee) not in uniform.

Roethlisberger -- harassed by Baltimore’s defense most of the game -- found Santonio Holmes for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Roethlisberger was 14 for 24 for 191 yards and was sacked three times.

On Baltimore’s next play after the kickoff, Flacco -- who had managed the game well in only his third career start -- fumbled while being sacked by James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley scooped up the ball and scored from the seven, after initially attempting to fall on the ball.

“Then I remembered it wasn’t college and I could run, and I don’t have a lot of speed but I got in there,” Woodley said.

Pittsburgh won its 14th consecutive Monday night home game, dating to a 1991 loss to the New York Giants at Three Rivers Stadium.